Church Choir Gigs

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by gzent, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. gglassmeyer

    gglassmeyer Piano User

    Apr 28, 2006
    Cincinnati, OH
    I'm lucky in this area. Our director never asks that I play more quietly and usually positions brass players so we're not behind vocalists. Her main reason is so that she has a good line of sight so she can direct us with nods of her head, since she's always playing keyboards. At one point she mentioned being taught in college that mutes were used to change the sound not to make things more quiet..
  2. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    Yes, I totally agree with all those who are saying that we need to try and match the purpose of the music, which is often devotional, subdued etc. When you are paid, it is to deliver what the payer wants. Still, for those Church directors out there, give us a chance every once in a while to really "trumpet." Maybe an early morning sunrise service -gets the blood flowing. ha. Besides, we are trumpet players and need something to complain about. If it isn't the choir director, then what?
  3. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    Hey BBD is back! Where ya been?! :-)
  4. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    Absolutely! When a (good) composer explicitly takes time to include a trumpet part with a choral piece I believe that is why!
  5. lmf

    lmf Forte User

    May 16, 2007
    Indiana USA
    I was in a church recently (large one, too) when the whole prelude to worship was played by an older man and his trumpet. He played the praise songs and choruses without written music beautifully. The presentation was inspirational and uplifting. His performance was not not "brassy" for the style of songs he was performing. His tone was superb, but I assumed he had been a trumpet player of many years as he looked so relaxed while playing.

    Best wishes,

    Last edited: Nov 11, 2009
  6. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    I have played for years with choirs and the volume issue is almost always a source of 'disharmony'.
    I think most directors don't have a clue how the group sounds from the middle of a full
    church when all the voices and instruments are heard blended together from a distance.

    A recent experience with a director just confirmed my dislike for pipe organists who become directors because they need the money. These guys crank their million dollar collection of pipes up to a volume that ensures they can hear themselves play, because God forbid they use a monitor on their precious baby. Then they have you play somewhere close to them and think you play too loud. I've seen it over and over.

    Of course, they have no clue how THEY are the ones burying the choir with their over the top organ playing.

    Pardon the rant....

    Last edited: Nov 11, 2009

    BADBOY-DON Piano User

    Jan 23, 2004
    Gig Harbor Wa.

    Why should we "pardon your rant" when you pretty much hit the CHOIR DIRECTOR'S PROBLEM...RIGHT ON THE HEAD and purty much "speakuth the truff-truth?" :)

    I have only been playing trumpet and singing in churches and choirs since I was a kiddie in Jr. High school waaaaay back in 1953....
    but FOREVER still find it so strange that sooooooooo many Church Choir and Orchestra Directors are SOOOOOOO DAMNED TIMID AND DOWN RIGHT WUZZZZZZZZZIE' and LIVE IN CONSTANT FEAR OF OFFENDING their membership by NOT TAKING CONTROL of the situation.

    Whether it be an out of control heavy handed organist, orchestra member, choir singer, whatever...they forever need the basic people skills to help regain the musicality of what the director deems is important.
  8. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    They are afraid they might upset a choir member and they will quit.
    Well, so what? If someone can't sing or can't take their foot off the organ pedal or can't play the part on the music stand then it doesn't do the rest of the choir any good to pretend the problem isn't there.

    In church choirs more so than other groups, you don't NEED numbers to sound good. I've sung with groups with only 3 singers on each part that sounds better than a 40 piece choir because those 12 people could sing, anunciate, breath and phrase with the same concepts in mind. You don't need another voice just adding noise to produce volume.

    I've been doing the singer/trumpet player role in choir since around 1987, and have more than once seen really good people run out of patience and leave choir because of one or two ego-maniacs in a choir that refuse to take direction or hound the choir director into giving them solos when its obvious they are not solo type of vocalists.

    I've also seen cases where the choir director was the egomaniac and did all solos himself despite having several capable singers in the choir.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2009
  9. kcmt01

    kcmt01 Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 25, 2009
    Polson, MT
    I've played with a lot of different churches over the years, and every one is different. I always assume that if the music is marked mf, then it must be for a reason. Most small town amateur choir members can't sing above mp. A good choir director will try to draw them up to the proper level. If one trumpet overpowers a 30 member choir at mf, then something is wrong. I could go on and on about the spiritual aspects of the trumpet, but it would be book length.
  10. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    I bet most professional trumpet players can overpower a non-amplified 30 member vocal choir if they are not careful. I know for sure that Manny Laureano sure could. That guy puts out some incredible volume!

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